Prunes may not be on everyone's favorite foods list, but adding them to your diet can increase the odds of losing weight, a new study shows.
University of Liverpool researchers found that consumption of the dried fruit not only boosted weight loss in a group of 100 overweight individuals but also enhanced feelings of fullness, making it less likely they would snack on unhealthy foods.
"These are the first data to demonstrate both weight loss and no negative side effects when consuming prunes as part of a weight management diet," said Liverpool psychologist, Jo Harrold, M.D. who led the 12-week study. "Indeed in the long term they may be beneficial to dieters by tackling hunger and satisfying appetite; a major challenge when you are trying to maintain weight loss."
Jason Halford, a Liverpool professor of experimental psychology, added that maintaining a healthy diet is challenging, with many people unable to achieve the recommended five to nine servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily.
"Dried fruit can provide a useful and convenient addition to the diet, especially as controlling appetite during dieting can be tough," he said.
For the study, researchers divided the participants into two groups – those who ate prunes every day and those who were given advice on healthy snacks. After three months, the individuals who ate prunes lost more weight and had a greater reduction in belt size than those who did not.
The study also found that the prune eaters experienced greater weight loss during the last four weeks of the study and had increased feelings of fullness.
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